Monday, July 20, 2015

Prison 101

 Yesterday, Chester and I went to Prison.  A FIRST for me and my pup.

 I didn't know what to expect... but NOTHING went as planned. NOTHING.

My friend Lisa, dog trainer extraordinaire, is piloting a program at the prison called PAWS FOR LIFE. Lisa was chosen by PAWS to be the trainer. Lisa works alongside the inmates who are accepted into the program, teaching them how to train and rehabilitate the rescue-dogs. She is doing an amazing job. And as you can imagine...the dogs are not the only ones who are rescued and rehabilitated.

Lisa and the PAWS FOR LIFE program invited me to share with the inmates about Pet Therapy.  I felt honored, And for Chester......well, it was just another opportunity to meet new friends :-).

Of all things, ........., the night before our visit, and during our visit, there was this STORM that landed on the Central Coast of California. Seriously, a STORM?  We have not had rain, let alone a real STORM for y.e.a.r.s. ~~  I mean YEARS.  All night long, Thunder. Lightening. LOUD BOOMS. Lots of rain.  Though I was woo-hooo-for-the-rain, I was not so woo-hoo about the thunder booms for my buddy.

Chester doesn't do so well with fireworks or cracks of lightening or booming thunder. Let's just say he gets rather stressed.  And needless to say when Sunday morning arrived, my buddy was not in his best form for a therapy visit to prison.   Had it been any other situation I would have cancelled, but because of security issues and scheduling, we needed to move forward with Plan A. I promised him TREATS big time.

Our team met together in front of the prison, and after passing through the security process,  the  5 of us + Chester were driven to a point of entry where the men and dogs were located.

We entered through 3 tall fenced clanging gates with the barbed wire loops on top.  We all signed in again and waited in an outdoor courtyard area .... in the rain ...with the booming thunder noise loud and close.

And then...while standing in this courtyard, a guard informed us we could not meet with the inmates......the prison had gone into lock down.


Apparently, a lightening bolt struck very close to a guard tower. Too close. And rather than risk the possibility of a power outage due to lightening strike...well, the prison just shut-er-down and went on generator mode.  And lock down.

I think that meant we were sort of on lock down as well.  The 5 of us + Chester stood and waited.

And then .... this series of events occurred.   For privacy reasons, I cannot tell you what happened.   But I will say, as this crisis unfolded, all 5 of us +Chester, were exactly where we needed to be in exactly the right moment in time  

NOTHING went as planned. But His timing was perfect.

Chester and I hope to return to prison soon (on a bright SUNNY day), so we can meet the inmates who are doing this good work with the pups.   When we do ...  I will bring rib eye steak treats for Chester.   He totally deserves it.

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